With the end of the year drawing to a close and the dawn of a new one just around the corner, we often reflect on what we have achieved and start setting goals for the New Year. So let’s look at ways we can inspire ourselves by setting goals, but also see how by inspiring others, we fulfill a selfless need that is in all of us – a need to help and motivate.
Firstly, think of someone who has inspired you. Many of us have heroes – these are individuals who motivate us by what they are achieving. We are in awe of them and they inspire us to want to make changes to our fitness routine whether it’s training for your first marathon, taking up a new sport, or just simply getting off the couch. By them setting an example we are motivated to follow suit. You may have a friend or mentor who inspires you – you work out together or join a run clinic with a goal in mind. Perhaps you have a personal trainer or coach who sets goals and keeps you on track. Without that training schedule you know you wouldn’t success and achieve the results you want. Once you have identified your inspiring individual, write down the reasons why that person is so inspiring and what you can learn from them. Can you turn this into an experience you can share or inspire others? Of course you can.
You have noticed your friend is in a rut with their training, or they have lost interest in their sport for whatever reason. Take him/her under your wing and motivate and encourage. Suggest a change up in routine, try a new fitness class, start a new sport, or switch a run day with a bike ride. Join them and lead by example. Make it a project. If you have been running in training clinics for a while and feel you want to do more, then volunteer to be a run leader. Use your knowledge and enthusiasm and pass on to others and help them reach their goals. You may have to put your personal goals on hold, but the satisfaction of seeing others achieve theirs is immense, particularly knowing that you had a hand in their success.
Then of course you can inspire yourself. Think of your achievements and goals over the last year. Were they reasonable, too lofty or achievable? Remember the SMART principle – Simple, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. All goals should be based on this. Get inspiration from what you did achieve, no matter how small, and build on it. Write down what you want to achieve next year. Is there an event that you have always wanted to do but it has been out of your reach? Tell yourself that this is the year to do it. Be decisive. Share your goals with others and they will feed off your enthusiasm (and they may even train with you). Staying motivated can often be a difficult task so use some tools to help you. If you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon watch some inspirational running videos like the ‘Spirit of the Marathon,’ or read inspiring stories (George Sheehan is a particular favourite). Find some inspirational quotes or develop your own mantra. Along the way, reward yourself if you have accomplished a stage or achieved a target you set yourself, as part of your goal.
So make 2016 a year you can inspire others while inspiring yourself to achieve personal goals. Then this time next year you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done.